CHANDIGARH: A drug smuggler was shot dead and his colleague was injured in an encounter with the Special Task Force (STF) late on Thursday night in Moga district of Punjab.
The drug smugglers have been identified as Jobanpreet Singh, who belonged to Patti town in Tarn Taran district, Gurchet Singh hailing from Bangla Rai village of the state.
Both of them were travelling to Chandigarh in a Swift car. When the duo neared Mehana village on the Bughipura by-pass on the outskirts of Moga around 8.30 PM, they were intercepted by a Special Task Force (STF) team for checking. However, they tried to run over a police constable in a bid to escape from the spot. In retaliation, the STF fired at them.
In the shootout, both Jobanpreet and Gurchet were injured but Gurchet drove the car for about twenty kilometres to reach a private hospital at Kot Ise Khan, where doctors declared Jobanpreet dead on arrival. The STF team chased them and nabbed them at the hospital.
After administering first aid, Gurchet was referred to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital at Ludhiana, where his condition is critical but out of danger. The body of the deceased Jobanpreet was taken to the district hospital at Moga for post-mortem examination.
Senior Superintendent of Police of Moga, Amarjit Singh Bajwa confirmed the encounter and said that both of them were drug smugglers. He said that the police had registered a case under section 307 of the IPC against them at the Mehna police station on the complaint of an STF constable. The section of murder will be added during investigations. The police had recovered 40 grams of heroin from the car.
Surjan Singh, father of Jobanpreet Singh, said that one case of drugs was registered against his son while his friend Gurchet Singh, who was injured in the firing, had several cases registered against him.
Jobanpreet was having a `tag’ of a web channel journalist and Gurchet was reportedly working for a vernacular daily.